Arranging furniture is often a process of trial-and-error and, odds are, if you’ve moved into a new home or planning to remodel the one you’re in, it will take a few different arrangements before you land on the living room furniture placement that suits your family or household best.
Helpful Tips for Arranging Your Living Room Furniture to Enhance Style, Function & Flow
It’s impossible to give you a set of rules because every living room is different – and every family’s use of that space is different as well. However, there are a several tips that can get you started.
- Get out the ol‘ fashioned graph paper. If lugging furniture back and forth doesn’t appeal to you, and/or you are good at envisioning two-dimensions in your head, I recommend getting out a sheet of good ol‘ fashioned graph paper and start drawing, cutting and shuffling. Your first item of business will be to outline your living room’s exact perimeter measurements to scale. Mark windows, doors, the fireplace and other architectural features that will affect furniture placement. Then, use another sheet to draw to-scale shapes that mimic your furniture and furnishings, and begin placing your “furniture” in different spots to see which arrangements seem to work best.
- Consider traffic flow. Think about how people enter and exit your living room space. You want your furniture to facilitate, rather than hinder, traffic flow. Also, try to prevent traffic from bisecting those who are seated and their view of the television.
- Think about your focal point(s). What is your our living room’s focal point? Is it the television or a large picture window? Perhaps it’s your fireplace mantel or a gorgeous work of art. In any case, your main seating area should be placed such that the eye is easily led to an attractive landing point.
- Get furniture away from the walls. It’s so common for people to place couches and/or chairs right up against the wall, thinking it will make the room seem larger. In fact, this tactic can make for a boring interior design and can also yield a great deal of dead space if you aren’t careful.
- Create a balance of high and low energy. If your living room is big enough, try to create separate areas for entertaining and higher-energy activities – like movie nights – and quieter, low-energy areas – like a corner or fireplace-oriented furniture arrangement that facilitates private conversation or a reading nook.
- Think about surface placement. Make sure that every couch or chair has a hard surface nearby, whether it be a coffee table, end table or a nearby credenza or book case so you have a place to set drinks, snacks, magazines or books, the remote controls, etc. If you are in the process of remodeling, this is a good time to think about lamp placement too, as well-placed floor outlets prevent trip hazards created by exposed electrical cords stretched across the floor. Figuring out your future furniture arrangement now will allow you to be more precise with your new electrical plan.
- Don’t forget the benefits of area rugs. Area rugs are used often to help anchor living room furniture and/or to create a visual sense of different areas in a single space. One rug, or two layered rugs, can be used to anchor your main seating area while another smaller rug can create the boundary for a small play area or reading corner.